International Day of Women Seafarer – Breaking the stereotype
18. May 2023
Meet our employees
Breaking the stereotype
Tears run down Julie Saballa’s cheeks when she talks about her time as a seafarer. Not because she is sad, but because all the memories come back like flashbacks and make her sentimental. In 2012, she sailed her first contract as a cadet domestically and another year abroad. A year later she took her license as a 3rd engineer and gained four more years of experience on board globally operating container ships. This was followed by her 2nd Engineer’s license in 2021.
“Life on board is so much more than the beautiful pictures you see. It’s really hard and you won’t understand it until you experience it yourself. Julie recalls days of seasickness, countless sleepless nights and feelings of loneliness, stress, pressure, and anxiety. The biggest sacrifice was not being able to be with her family on most occasions, especially when her father died while she was on board. Along the way she encountered misunderstandings, disappointments, failures, and discouragements, but all this was never a reason for her to give up, but to keep going, fighting, and learning to set goals worth pursuing. “It’s like the ocean; one contract can be calm while the next becomes rough or rigid, yet it is beautiful.”
Today, Julie is part of the NSB GROUP team in the Philippines, where she trains NSB crews and future cadets. Sharing her knowledge, skills and experience has always been her big dream. When she talks about her role in the company, you can see how grateful and passionate she is.
Julie is a witness to the industry placing more importance on the advancement of women in the maritime sector. “The term ‘seaman’ has been replaced with the word ‘seafarer’ to highlight the contribution of women in this male-dominated industry. She is delighted with this contribution and has some wonderful advice for all women thinking about a career on board: “You are amazing, and you are stronger than you think! Don’t be afraid! Be flexible, be resilient, turn negatives into positives. Keep breaking down barriers, smashing stereotypes and paving the way for a more equal society. No one can tell you what you are not capable of or that you will not achieve your goal. Have the strength to pursue your dreams – you are the change the world needs to see!”
Thank you for empowering other women, Julie, we are happy to have you!
NSB Communication Team
Dominique Kreuzkam (he/him) & Lina Wörner (she/her)